What’s on in Cambridge – July 2019

I love summertime in Cambridge.  The May Balls and graduation ceremonies are done now and as the students leave for the summer, the rhythm of the city seems to change.  There’s plenty going on, as you will see from this listing which I’ll update as the month unfurls.

Tomatoes at Cambridge Market
Tons of tomatoes at Cambridge Market

1 – 14th    Strawberries and Screen.  Live screening of BBC coverage from Wimbledon on a giant LED screen between One The Square and The Tamburlaine Hotel.  100 chairs available.  Bring your own picnic or buy from food vans (mainly available at lunchtimes).  http://www.cambridgebid.co.uk/lovecambridge

3rd    6.15 – 7.15pm  Sounds Green.  Open air music.  Afro Tema, a danceable mix of Senegalese salsa, furious mbalax, afro-rock and some serious roots reggae style music.  Botanic Garden.  Tickets must be bought in advance online.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

4 – 7th    Independents Week.  Celebrating the independent business community in Cambridge with offers and events.  http://www.cambridgebid.co.uk/independents-week-2019

4th    6 – 7.30pm  Open Mic Night for local musicians and poets.  A celebration of music and the spoken word.  Free admission.  Waterstones, Sidney Street.  http://www.waterstones.com/bookshops/cambridge-sidney-str

5 – 7th    The Big Weekend.  Parker’s Piece.  http://www.cambridgelive.org.uk/city-events/events/big-weekend

6 – 7th    11am – 6pm  Cambridge Open Studios.  Over 350 artists in and around Cambridge open their studio doors to the public.  Fine art, photography, pottery, glass making, sculpture, illustration, textiles, jewellery and furniture.  http://www.camopenstudios.co.uk  Read more about last year’s Open Studios here

6th    10am – 1pm  Family Saturdays: Drawing Plants.  Free event.  Botanic Garden.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

6th    10am – 4pm  Eco Living Festival Cambridge.  Talks, workshops and masterclasses.  Lion Yard Shopping Centre.  http://www.cambridgeecolivingfestival.uk  Read more about Eco Living Festival Cambridge here

6th    2 – 4pm  Family First Saturday.  Activities and art-making on the theme of “caring for our museum”.  Free, drop in event.  Fitzwilliam Museum.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

6th    7.30pm  Charity Concert supporting Cambridge Summit on Homelessness.  Mawson Road Community Orchestra with classical pieces, a cappella from “Sound Scribblers” and traditional music from Greece, Russia, Romania, Macedonia, Scotland and Ireland plus an Auction of Promises.  Tickets on the door.  St Paul’s Church, Hills Road.  http://www.mrco-cambridge.org.uk

8th onwards   Cambridge Shakespeare Festival.  Productions performed in College gardens, in full period costume and with live Elizabethan music.  http://www.cambridgeshakespeare.com  Read more about last year’s Cambridge Shakespeare Festival here

9th    7.30 – 9pm  Talk: Swimming in Cambridge.  Mill Road History Society.  Ross Street Community Centre, CB1.  http://www.millroadhistory.org.uk/events

10th    6.15 – 7.15pm  Sounds Green.  Open air music.  Martin Kemp’s Organised Chaos.  Swing and jazz standards from 1930s to present.  Botanic Garden.  Tickets must be bought in advance online.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

11th    7.30pm  Alex Hitchcock Quintet.  CUC Wine Bar, Granta Place.  http://www.cambridgejazz.org

13 – 14th    11am – 6pm  Cambridge Open Studios.  Over 350 artists in and around Cambridge open their studio doors to the public.  Fine art, photography, pottery, glass making, sculpture, illustration, textiles, jewellery and furniture.  http://www.camopenstudios.co.uk  Read more about last year’s Open Studios here

13 – 21st    Cambridge Veg Fest.  A city-wide celebration of local and seasonal vegetables, bringing people together to grow, cook, eat and enjoy delicious veg.  http://www.cambridgesustainablefood.org

13 – 27th    Cambridge Summer Music Festival.  Live classical music, focusing this year on music by women composers and music by – and inspired by – J S Bach.   www.cambridgesummermusic.com

13th    12 – 5pm  Castle Hill Open Day 2019.  Art, music, history, tours, talks and food.  Free event.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/events/castle-hill-2019

13th    4.30pm (child friendly) and 7.30pm  Music for a summer’s evening.  Fairhaven Singers.  Strawberries and sparkling wine (included in ticket price) will be served on the banks of the Cam during the interval of the evening performance.  Queens’ College Chapel.  http://www.fairhavensingers.org.uk

14th    11am and 2pm  Science on Sundays: Stop and smell the … pollination!  Free, informal 30 minute drop in plant science talk.  Botanic Garden.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

15 – 17th    10am – 5pm  Visitor Centre Open Days and Launch of Museum on a Bike.  David Parr House, 184 Gwydir Street.  Facebook: @davidparrhouse  Read more about David Parr House here

17th    6.15 – 7.15pm  Sounds Green.  Open air music.  Truly Medley Deeply.  A hybrid of live band, DJ and jukebox producing a huge sound from Motown classics to stadium rock.  Botanic Garden.  Tickets must be bought in advance online.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

20 – 21st    11am – 6pm  Cambridge Open Studios.  Over 350 artists in and around Cambridge open their studio doors to the public.  Fine art, photography, pottery, glass making, sculpture, illustration, textiles, jewellery and furniture.  http://www.camopenstudios.co.uk  Read more about last year’s Open Studios here

21st    9am – 2pm  Mill Road Summer Car Boot Sale.  Gwydir Street Car Park.

21st   12 – 4pm  Studio Sunday.  Artist led workshop for families.  Free, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

21st    3 – 5pm  Jazz and Brass in the Parks.  Soham Comrades.  Nightingale Rec.  http://www.cambridgelive.org.uk

24th    6.15 – 7.15pm  Sounds Green.  Open air music.  Noga Ritter.  Singer-songwriter and band performing Afro grooves and jazz.  Botanic Garden.  Tickets must be bought in advance online.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

25th    6pm  Summer Night Market and Open Air Cinema (Incredible 2/The School of Rock).  Market Square.  Free event.  http://www.cambridgebid.co.uk/open-air-cinema-night-market

27 – 28th    11am – 6pm  Cambridge Open Studios.  Over 350 artists in and around Cambridge open their studio doors to the public.  Fine art, photography, pottery, glass making, sculpture, illustration, textiles, jewellery and furniture.  http://www.camopenstudios.co.uk  Read more about last year’s Open Studios here

31st    6.15 – 7.15pm  Sounds Green.  Open air music.  Singer-pianist Ruth Applin with the Josh Kemp Quartet playing classic jazz, blues and bossa nova.  Botanic Garden.  Tickets must be bought in advance online.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

Sweet peas on my desk
Sweet peas from the garden on my desk

Podcast: Eco Living and Zero Waste in Cambridge

I’ve made another podcast!  In this episode, I chat to some of the people who are at the forefront of the eco living and zero waste movements in Cambridge and who have lots of ideas to help us tread a little more lightly on this planet.   Just search for New in Cambridge on Spotify or your favourite podcast platform.

The podcast chats are necessarily quite brief so to find out more, take a look at my guests’ websites:

Full Circle Shop    http://www.fullcircleshop.co.uk

Cambridge Food Hub    http://www.cambridgefoodhub.org

Cambridge Cookery School and Cafe    http://www.cambridgecookery.com

Eco Living Festival Cambridge    http://www.cambridgeecolivingfestival.uk

My thanks to Johanna, Alice and Tine for giving their time to make this podcast.

King’s College, Cambridge

Eco Living Festival Cambridge

Eco Living Festival Cambridge returns to Lion Yard Shopping Centre on 6 July with a pop up Eco Lifestyle Advice Centre where there’ll be talks, workshops and masterclasses aimed at helping us make simple, practical choices and changes to create a lower impact on the planet and to achieve a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Eco Living Festival Cambridge logo
Image credit: Eco Living Festival Cambridge

Festival Founder, Caroline-Shaheera Asante, spent her early childhood at her grandparents’ pineapple plantation in Guyana, growing up just naturally living a sustainable and zero waste lifestyle.  Post university in Canada, Caroline built a TV and radio career at the BBC but a trip to the Caribbean for a family reunion in 2014 was to change her path.

Caroline Shaheera Asante
Image credit: Shane Asante-O’Neill

Stunned by the evidence of climate change in action, by the coastal erosion, the destruction of mangrove forests and the amount of plastic debris on the beaches, Caroline returned home and took an MSc in Sustainability and Environmental Science at Anglia Ruskin University here in Cambridge.  Caroline started to work on the idea of creating an Eco Living Festival so when David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 natural history series, screened in 2017, brought the conversation about plastic pollution to the fore and spurred a zero waste movement around the world, she went ahead with the first Festival in September last year.  The success of this inaugural event has led to Lion Yard Shopping Centre once again providing retail space for the pop up and to the involvement of new supporters, including Anglian Water.

Eco Bricks
Eco Bricks  Image credit:  Tina McGrane

This year’s Eco Living Festival theme is “How to Achieve a Low-Impact or Zero Waste Lifestyle @Home – Bathroom and Kitchen Eco-Hack.”  Eco beauty workshops include making your own fresh cleansers and kids’ bath bombs with Lush and there’ll be talks on simple product swaps you can make to prevent environmental pollution.  See how crisp packets, sweet wrappers and garden compost bags can be turned into Eco Bricks and learn vintage zero waste kitchen skills as you make food wrap, cleaning products and other household essentials the way our grandparents used to.  All the events are free, some are drop-in and some need pre-registration.

Wave of Waste Dress - Linda Eco Design
Wave of Waste Dress  Image credit: Linda Eco Design

In what promises to be a very eye catching display on the upper atrium of Lion Yard Shopping Centre, eco fashion designer Linda Thomas will create the Ocean Waste Dresses Installation featuring four dresses made from waste found in the sea and along the shoreline, including surf bodyboards and old “ghost” fishing nets.

To read more about Eco Living Festival Cambridge and to make bookings, take a look at the website.


Cambridge Museum of Technology

Cambridge Museum of Technology is set to reopen to the public on 7 June, following a major redevelopment funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England.  I went to meet Morgan Bell, Assistant Curator, for a peek behind the scenes ahead of opening day.

Cambridge Museum of Technology

It’s not hard to find the Museum … just look for the 53 metre tall chimney that dominates the skyline at Riverside.  This chimney and the Victorian buildings that cluster round it formed a sewage pumping station where the city’s household rubbish was burned to create steam to fuel engines that pumped the city’s sewage out to a treatment plant in Milton.  Prior to this, sewage had discharged into the River Cam, causing cholera outbreaks, so this wonderful Victorian engineering transformed public health in Cambridge.  The pumping station was decommissioned in 1968, at which point a group of local campaigners saved it from demolition and turned the buildings into a museum.

Hathorn Davey pumping engine Cambridge Museum of Technology
A Hathorn Davey pumping engine

Post this renovation, you’ll find improved visitor facilities and disabled access and a wealth of new displays, including an interactive model of the pumping station (complete with smell effect!).  The historic boiler has been restored so that the Hathorn Davey pumping engines can run again later this year, once all testing of the steam lines is complete.

Cambridge Museum of Technology
The boiler

A new building houses an exhibition about Pye and Cambridge Instrument Company, with artefacts and touch screens telling the stories of how they grew to make so many innovative products and gained an international reputation for excellence and innovation.  This space is also for school groups and events plus it will be available to hire to community groups.

Cambridge Museum of Technology

The Engineer’s House, just next door to the Museum, is being transformed by partner organisation Othersyde into an indoor cafe space, a bar and escape rooms.  There’ll be a summer bar and food kiosk outside in the garden or you can bring a picnic to eat on the lawn at this beautiful riverside spot.  Lawn games like skittles and outdoor board games will be available and there’s plenty of space for kids to run around.

Phase 1 of the development will be about 90% complete for this pilot reopening on 7 June so if you go to the Museum before 30 September, you’ll get a ticket for a free return visit in the next twelve months.  All the finishing touches will be in place for the grand reopening on 1 October.

Cambridge Museum of Technology

Restoration work has been supported by corporate volunteers over recent months.  The day I visited, a team from Worldpay was hard at work cleaning the Boiler House and a team from Anglian Water has been busy painting.  And there are plenty of regular volunteer roles available.  At the moment, the Museum is looking particularly for Welcome Volunteers and Education Volunteers.  You’ll find details of these opportunities plus opening times and ticket prices on the website.


The Old Pumping Station, Cheddars Lane, CB5 8LD

Podcast: What’s on in Cambridge, June 2019

I made a podcast! I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while but it’s all very new to me and I’m still getting to grips with the technology …..

In this episode, I’m talking about art, music, celebrations and outdoor swimming in Cambridge.

You can find this podcast episode on Spotify and on the main podcast listening platforms.  Just search for New in Cambridge.

Please have a listen and do get in touch through my Contact page if you’d like to suggest topics for future podcasts.

King’s College, Cambridge



What’s on in Cambridge – June

Well, Summer has arrived here in Cambridge and there’s loads happening in June …. outdoor celebrations as well as indoor activities, many of them free, for those rainy days (hopefully there won’t be too many of those!), lots of music, something for foodies and scientists, in fact something for everybody.  I’ll update this listing as the month unfolds so please do get in touch through my Contact page if you know of an event that I can list here.

Midsummer Common Cambridge
Midsummer Common bathed in sunshine

1st    10am – 1pm  Family Saturdays – Messy Mud.  Get messy with mud, make mud pies and have a go at mud painting.  Free event.  Botanic Garden.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

1st    10.30am – 11pm  Strawberry Fair.  Popular volunteer run music and arts event on Midsummer Common.  Free entry.  http://www.strawberry-fair.org.uk

1st    2 – 4pm  Family First Saturday.  Activities and art making on the theme of “dazzling doodles”.  Free, drop in.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

1 – 2nd    12 – 4pm  Drop in drawing activities for all ages and abilities.  Free, no booking required.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

2nd    5.30pm  Songs of Song.  Ancient songs in praise of music, from the British Isles c.600 – 1200.  Two voiced harmonies to harp and lyre.  The Round Church.  http://www.cambridgelive.org.uk

7th    Museum of Technology reopens.  Cheddars Lane.  http://www.museumoftechnology.com  Read more about the Museum of Technology here

8 – 9th    10am – 5pm  Cambridge Town and Country Fair.  Parker’s Piece.  Free entry.  http://www.oakleighfairs.co.uk

8 – 9th    11am – 5pm  Open Garden at 49 New Square, CB1.  Free entry and refreshments.  All proceeds to Red Balloon Learner Centres.

8th    10.30am – 1.30pm  Flower Crown Workshop.  Make your own flower crown.  Includes refreshments, an out-of-hours visit to the House and all materials.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

8th    11am – 5pm  Arbury Carnival.  Procession at 12 noon, leaving from Armitage Way.  http://www.arburycarnival.org

8th    11am – 8pm  Cambridge Pride.  Jesus Green.  Parade starts from Jesus Lock at 11am. FB: Cambridge Pride 2019

8th    1pm  Membra Jesu Nostri.  Buxtehude.  Erasmus Chamber Choir and Ensemble.  St Clement’s Church, Bridge Street.  Free entry, retiring collection.

9th    11am and 2pm  Science on Sundays.  Plant genetics from Mendel to Monsanto.  Free, informal, drop in monthly plant science talk (30 minutes).  Botanic Garden, Brookside.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

14th    7.30pm  The Hague String Trio.  Schubert, Beethoven, Krasa and Klein.  The Auditorium, Gonville & Caius College.  Tickets on the door.  http://www.thehaguestringtrio.com

15th    10am – 4pm  Eddington Discovery Day.  Free fun activities and games plus a Soup Disco.  Market Square and Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington.  http://www.eddington-cambridge.co.uk

16th    3 – 5pm  Jazz and Brass in the Parks.  Cambridge Groove Orchestra and Cambridge Jazz Festival Choir.  Jesus Green.  http://www.cambridgelive.org.uk

18th    7.30pm – 10pm  Music: Na-Mara.  Folk duo Na-Mara tell the story of the “Basque Children” through words and music.  Mill Road History Society.  Old School Hall, St Barnabas Church, Mill Road.  http://www.cambridgefolkclub.co.uk

19th    7.30pm  True Stories Told Live.  NCI Club, Holland Street.  FB: @cambridgetruestories  Read more about True Stories Told Live here

20 – 23rd    Wimpole History Festival.  A weekend of history and heritage for the whole family with talks, debates, book signings, performances, historical walking tours, workshops, activities and events.  Wimpole Estate.  http://www.wimpolehistoryfestival.com

21st    6pm  Summer Night Market and Open Air Cinema (Peter Rabbit/Mamma Mia Here We Go Again).  Free event.  http://www.cambridgebid.co.uk/open-air-cinema-night-market

21 – 28th    Chesterton Festival, including Community Fun Day (22nd).  http://www.chestertonfestival.wordpress.com  Read more about last year’s Festival here

22nd    10am – 4.30pm  Zoology Live!  Live animals, hands on activities and expert lightning talks for all ages.  Free, drop in.  Museum of Zoology, Downing Street.  http://www.museum.zoo.cam.ac.uk

22nd    7.30pm  Coronation Anthems.  Handel, Boyce and Blow.  Collegium Laureatum.  West Road Concert Hall.  tickets@collegium.org.uk

23rd     3 – 5pm  Jazz and Brass in the Parks.  Cambridgeshire Youth Jazz Orchestra.  Jesus Green.  http://www.cambridgelive.org.uk

23rd    6 – 7pm  In Good Company.  Music for a summer evening, with traditional and classical pieces.  The Lucy Cavendish Singers.  Sidney Sussex College Chapel.  All proceeds support the work of Cambridge City Foodbank.  http://www.lucycavendishsingers.org.uk  Read more about Cambridge City Foodbank here

23rd    7.30pm  Singing on the River.  A selection of madrigals, part-song and close-harmony from The King’s Men.  Back Court, King’s College.  Bring a picnic!  Tickets from shop@kings.cam.ac.uk or 01223 769340.  http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/events/concerts-at-kings

24th    7.30pm  A Midsummer’s Day Concert of Georgian Song.  Chela and Buska, the Cambridge Georgian choirs.  Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Trumpington Street.  Free entry with retiring collection.  Tickets from chelatickets@gmail.comhttp://www.georgianchoircambridge.wordpress.com

28 – 30th  Foodies Festival, Parker’s Piece.  http://www.foodiesfestival.com/cambridge

Chestnut tree at King's College Cambridge
The chestnut tree at King’s College is 160 years old!



White Lotus Meditation Cambridge

For anybody out there who’s feeling overwhelmed and stressed or who lies wide awake at 3am with a “To Do” list running on a loop of worry in your head, read on ….. this post is for you!  Lucy Highton has just set up White Lotus Meditation in the city, teaching meditation practices that help to create a sense of space for the mind, within which you can restore calm and reconnect with yourself.

White Lotus Meditation Cambridge
Image credit: White Lotus Meditation

Lucy originally turned to meditation eight years ago as she sought calm and clarity in her busy London lifestyle.  She visited India several times during her early 30’s and found the power in just stopping and the strength that comes from stilling a busy mind.  But her world was shattered when her husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer four years ago.  Some months after his death, feeling that she’d done all the healing she could do at home, Lucy returned to India for a year, practising meditation and considering the path her life was going to take.  Back from India, Lucy studied for a Diploma in Meditation Teaching at the British School of Meditation and she moved to Cambridge at the end of last year.

Lucy Highton White Lotus Meditation Cambridge
Image credit: White Lotus Meditation

Lucy has found the perfect studio space at Bodywise in Gwydir Street (off Mill Road) and will run her first Learn to Meditate course there over four Sunday evenings in June with a taster session in August and another course lined up for September.  She also plans to offer drop-in classes and one-to-one sessions plus corporate and school workshops.

White Lotus Meditation Cambridge
Image credit: White Lotus Meditation

I was really happy to meet Lucy and talk about meditation and mindfulness with her as it’s something I came to a couple of years ago when a difficult period in my life left my mind super busy with worries and sleep in short supply.  I took myself to a drop in meditation/mindfulness session at my local yoga centre and started attending weekly, unsure at first if I was getting it or doing it right but happy to be carving out that time just for me.  As the weeks passed, gradually I found I was able to still my mind and there was such peace in realising that I had the power to do that.  Practices like mindful breathing and counted meditation really help me with stressful times, sleeping and also, I’ve discovered, in the dentist’s chair!  And although I would never claim to be the most chilled out woman in Cambridge, those classes gave me the gift of tools which I can and do use every day.

To read more of Lucy’s story and for details of upcoming classes at White Lotus Meditation, take a look at the website through which you can also contact Lucy, who is happy to answer any questions you’d like to ask about meditation and mindfulness.